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Why LAMP is better than Domino



Since the end of life of Notes/Domino 7 is coming in 2011-04-30 according to Ed Brill: End of Life for ND7, it's a good time to review the benefits of the two best Web Database platforms available on the market today: LAMP (=Linux Apache MySQL PHP) and Domino.

1) LAMP database design can be edited with any text editor remotely, even with vi via secure shell (SSH). Domino Designer 7 and Notes 7 work fine, but not Domino Designer 8.5 or Notes 8. Domino Designer 8.5 is written in Java and is thus ridiculously bloated, slow, buggy and exposes lots of security holes.

Notes 8 crashes when opening documents which contain HTML code, while the same document opens fine in Notes 7 and Notes 8.5, although some of them crash also Notes 7, but Notes 8.5 doesn't crash on any of them. Android got rid of Java in their OS, and users are praising the smaller memory footprint of 30MB and the incredible raise in speed due to native C++ code. OpenOffice uses Java also, and is a bit slow, but by miles not as slow as IBM's Java engine, which you can experience with Domino Designer 8.5, Notes 8.5 and Symphony.

Although many things can be done with a graphical design in Domino Designer, the graphical features need to be replaced with LotusScript code when the application needs more features and customization. If you've ever worked with a simple application ready web server like Quickr, Sharepoint or Ruby On Rails (which are all horribly slow and inflexible compared to LAMP or Domino), as a developer you will love systems which are exactly the opposite and have thus full programmability and speed, and easy customization support, even if they don't have any ready apps.

Hmm, actually this is a good question why does Domino not have any ready apps, or does it, if you count openntf.org? It's just not marketed as such by IBM. I think IBM should understand what collaboration really means, it means that the community does eventually official things, and not only IBM. A half point goes to LAMP.

2) LAMP combines HTML and server side code in the same php document. This makes coding very easy and convenient, while in Domino Designer you need to juggle with a WebQueryOpen and WebQuerySave agent, which usually needs then more code and visual design elements to handle all different situations - you have to place additional fields in the Form and address them in the LotusScript code.

This point is a draw though, since in LAMP you need to code everything, while in Domino Designer you can avoid some coding, and despite that it usually needs some more effort later on, it also saves time.

3) The Domino 8.5 server has had known and fatal bugs for years, and although IBM knows about them, they haven't been fixed. One of those fatal bugs is for example that LotusScript WebQueryOpen agents keep running forever, until the memory is full, when the user closes the browser. The only workaround is to make a HTTP restart every night. In Domino 7 this problem does not exist.

Another fatal bug is that chronos.exe crashes the server, however this can be fixed by deleting chronos.exe (speak: move it to a backup subdirectory, as you might need it for the next incremental installer), as it is some remain from Domino 1.0 where it also crashed all the time. And a third fatal bug is that compact increases the database size. This works fine in Domino 7. And a fourth fatal bug is that DAOS enabled databases with attachments cannot be copied to a Local file system when they are restored to a backup server first. This works also fine in Domino 7, since it has no DAOS.

Domino 7 vs LAMP would have been a draw, but since businesses are forced to upgrade to Domino 8.5, this point goes to LAMP, as it has no such fatal bugs. In a similar situation, where Microsoft's Windows Vista was a plain failure for businesses (there was no business need or even benefit to upgrade) and Windows 7 (better than Vista, but it made itself required by ending the OEM Windows XP support), there is still support for Windows XP until year 2020, because that is the end of life of Windows 7 and the Windows XP downgrade is part of Windows 7, so it extends the end of support of Windows XP equal to the end of life of Windows 7. I find it a bit ironic that Microsoft has now better backwards compatibility, while this was the ace card of IBM over Microsoft for decades.

4) LAMP is open source and free, while Domino 8.5 is closed source and commercial only. Android won iPhone, Sony/Ericsson and Nokia because it is open source and free. Likewise, the importance of a free version of Domino is to get a bigger market impact and get it more supported. This point goes to LAMP.

5) LAMP works on 12 hardware platforms, while Domino works only on 5. An important version is the 64-bit Linux version on Intel and PowerPC, and Domino doesn't have them either: FAQ: 64-bit version of Domino This point goes to LAMP.

6) Readers and Authors type fields and Groups and Roles are a major benefit of Domino. This point goes to Domino.

7) Love for Lotus and the visual development environment keeps the developers motivated. This point goes to Domino.

As it stands now, LAMP wins Domino 8.5 with 4.5:3.

LAMP vs Domino 7 would have been only a 4.5:4 win.




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